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Sunday, June 30, 2013

30th June

Regent’s Park

A couple of other young to look at today.

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Lighting certainly makes a different as these owl photos and video clips show.

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I am not sure whether this owlet was the culprit but one of them crapped over my windscreen.

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Starlings seem to have had an excellent breeding season in the parks.

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As yet I haven’t seen any successfully breeding Little Grebes.

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Common  Spotted Orchids have flowered in their usual location after failing to do so last year. Unfortunately there are no Bee Orchids this year. If it wasn’t for the fact that the contractors were late cutting the area of grass these flowers are in we would have never known they were there.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

29th June

Regent’s Park

I didn’t have much time to bird the park today, so made do with checking both pairs of Kestrels and the Little Owls. The only positive news was that the owls to the east of the Broadwalk have at least 2 young hiding themselves away. The Kestrels in the Wetland Pen are also doing well as you will see in a minute.

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As well as the birds in the picture, there was another juvenile just below the box. This meant that there were six birds sometimes seven if you include the adult female or male occupying the nest box at times.

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Friday, June 28, 2013

Thursday, June 27, 2013

27th June

Regent’s Park

Sad news from the Wetland Pen, two of the Kestrel young left the box this morning. That normally goes without a hitch but not today. They were both still not old enough and may have accidently toppled off the rim of the box. One was seen in branches just below the box and a short time later another had dropped down near to him/her. Dave phoned to ask what I had done when this had happened before. Well back then we had our own cherry picker and were able to put the bird back or if not back in the box, close to it. Dave went off to collect a ladder and wasn’t gone for more than 15 to 20 minutes. However when he returned, one must have taken a leap of faith and had come to ground, unfortunately the resident Fox must have been watching and had killed and partially buried it. Not a very pleasant event at all. Dave managed to retrieve the other bird and put it in a box nearby where the male sometimes caches food. By this afternoon the stupid bird had left the safety of the box and had managed by clambering or a series of short clumsy flights gain some height. There was another slightly odd episode to this tragedy, the female hadn’t been seen all day. Normally she greets the male when he arrives with prey today there was no sign of her. That was until 3.30pm when she suddenly appeared not to far from the juvenile. She must have seen him but didn’t go very close to him, we will call it a him as they normally fledge first. Fingers crossed things will work out, though I am not that confident.    

Bushy Park

Nothing out of the ordinary to report. There have been fairly large concentrations of Swifts over the west side of the park, normally early morning involving over 200 birds. 2 pairs of Reed Warblers are breeding in the reed beds in the Brew House fields. Skylark numbers seem to be about the same as last year with at least 11 singing males. Meadow Pipits on the other hand seem down in numbers, 5 singing males. This could be the result of the cold winter. Common Shelducks are still present though down to 2 pairs. A Common Tern flew over yesterday.

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If you are not sure of this juveniles identity you soon will be.

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It looks like this bird has been decapitated a fait that a mega rarity White-throated Needletail unfortunately met with on the Western Isles. Well it wasn’t actually decapitated but it did meet its death by flying into a wind turbine.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Monday, June 24, 2013

24th June

Regent’s Park

Kestrel: The young are progressing well due to the male finding plenty of prey items.

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This rat must have been quite a lump to carry. Normally he comes in from fairly high up, this time was a low level approach.

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

22th June

I went on my first birding trip with Dave, Brendan, Chris, John, Samuel and Ephraim. It had been agreed that Norfolk and hopefully the Rose-coloured Starling that had been present in a garden on the sea front would first port of call. We met The Three Horseshoes in Garston at 6.00 am on a very wet morning. We took a leisurely drive and by the time we arrived at around 8.50am the rain had stopped. There was a small group of birders looking into a very small garden. The light wasn’t ideal and getting a good shot of the bird when it showed wasn’t easy but these record shots will do.

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From here we drove to an area hoping to catch up with one of the UK’s most graceful and elegant birds of prey. It took some time and plenty of scanning, but Brendan and I suddenly called Monty. It was a little distant but over the course of the next 45 – 60 minutes we had the bird in view. For part of that time it perched in a hedge while we had to shelter from a couple of fast moving showers. The female briefly showed but disappeared again over a hedge. It really was a cracking bird as it quartered the nearby fields, on occasions it landed on the ground. In the end we left the bird, normally it is the other way around.

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From here we drove to Swanton Novers raptor watch point in the hope of connecting with a Honey Buzzard that has been seen several times recently. We gave it more than enough time but with not a glimmer of a Honey, plenty of Common Buzzards but no Honey’s.

Back in the cars and off to a very blustery Titchwell. Here we saw 6 Little Gulls, 5 Spotted Redshanks and the usual cast. That is apart from large numbers of Knot. Were these later birds heading north or early birds heading south?

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And of course there were a few Avocets

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

20th June

Bushy Park

Little Owl: several birds were seen on the eastern side of the park, 3 near Hawthorn Cottage.

Skylark: 6 birds were singing in the south east section.

Meadow Pipit: 3 males were singing and chasing and being chased by Skylarks.

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This Reed Warbler and Reed Bunting were around the pools in the Brew House Field. The bunting isn’t as approachable as the birds out in the park.

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Unfortunately the shrew had recently died

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Who is going